Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
29 SOLUTIONS JUNE 2016 To ensure that Harmons' grocer- ants ofer a variety of Dietitians Choice prepared foods, two to four times a year the delicatessen sales director conducts a recipe contest among the chefs. Points are awarded for meeting Dieti- tians Choice criteria, qualifying as vegan or vegetarian, incorporating local foods, utilizing store-made products (hummus, for example), and developing a unique recipe and taste, says Jonnell Masson, a registered dietitian for two of Harmons' stores. Depart- ment dietitians calculate the nutrition values and suggest ways to tweak the recipes to qualify for Dietitians Choice designation. All of the Harmons chefs taste and evaluate the recipes, with the top-rated foods then tested in two stores to see if they sell well. If so, they become part of the food rotation, and the chef who created them receives a gif basket of cooking items. Recent winners included a Tree Pepper Salmon Salad and the Ironman Salad, in- corporating kale, blueberries, edamame, peanuts, carrots, red onion and raspberry vinaigrette. To emphasize the Dietitians Choice program with customers, two of the checkout lanes at each store forego candy and gum racks in favor of Dietitians Choice coolers containing small to-go servings of such items as prepared salads, hard-boiled eggs, nuts and fruit, says Masson. And in the grocerant area, the Dietitians Choice items are grouped in a case with an identifying cling sticker on the front of the case. Harmons educates customers about the program via store fiers, instore signs and even stickers placed on to-go containers of appropriate items. Each January, the chain makes a big push for Dietitians Choice by conducting samplings to promote healthy lifestyles, Masson says. Giant Eagle: Expanding dietitians' infuence At Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, the chain has chosen to promote messages about the benefts of heart healthy, low-sodium and low-saturated fat foods, which some cus- tomers might recognize as important elements in both the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets, according to Samantha Mont- gomery, manager of dietitians and nutrition education. Giant Eagle's Dietitian Pick program calls attention to prepared foods that meet any of the criteria the program supports. To qualify for the Dietitian Pick logo, the prod- uct must be low in saturated fat with limited amounts of sodium, contain 0 grams of trans fat per serving, and be a good source of fber and vitamins A or C, calcium, iron and/or protein. In January 2016, Giant Eagle launched a Health & Well- ness labeling program in the center aisles that it Harmons conducts healthy recipe contests for its instore chefs. — Jonnell Masson, Harmons Giant Eagle's Dietitian Pick program promotes messages about healthy eating.